New Delhi: The government on Tuesday sought to revisit a 1986 verdict of the Supreme Court which ruled that singing of national anthem is not mandatory.
“Patriotism must be inculcated in kids. It cannot be done in adults. So, singing national anthem in schools as part of the must be made compulsory,” the government’s top law officer Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said.
Rohatgi’s statements were made during a hearing in a 2016 public interest litigation filed by Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking guidelines on when and how the national anthem must be played in accordance with the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
On 30 November 2016, justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy in an interim order had ruled that it is mandatory for cinemas to play the national anthem before every screening and for everyone in the audience to stand up and show their respect.
The court’s order had, however, taken into account the 1986 verdict in the case of Bijoy Emmanuel in which the apex court had said that singing the national anthem is not mandatory and standing up when the anthem is played is sufficient to pay respect.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the apex court also clarified that the audience need not stand when the national anthem is played as a part of the storyline of a film, newsreel or documentary. At least two petitions seeking recall of the interim order were filed before the apex court on which hearing has been deferred.
The case will be heard next on 18 April.